Mattel, the producers of Barbie, recently announced one of their newest dolls from the “Shero” collection will be modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic fencer. Muhammad was the first American to compete at the Olympics in 2016 while wearing a hijab. Her doll will be the first Barbie to wear a hijab.This follows with Barbie’s push to have dolls that are inclusive, with different weights, heights, skin tones, and hairstyles.
This expansion allows for more girls to see themselves in the dolls they play with. Barbie’s vice president of global marketing Sejal Shah Miller said:
“Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything”.
According to Pew Research from 2015, there are about 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, and they predict that number to double by 2050.
Other women featured in the Shero collection are Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, model Ashley Graham, ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava DuVernay and actress Zendaya. Ibtihaj Muhammad said “Thank you Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the Barbie Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true”.
The doll will be will be released for purchase in 2018. We hope to see Barbie and other companies continue to make products that represent the diversity that exists in the world.